Monday, September 5, 2016

Riding the Gauntlet

When you're old fat and out of shape you drive somewhere flat to ride

I don't do many ride reports because to do one you need to, and until recently the only riding I was doing was a 10 block round trip to the farmers market on Sundays.  I'm trying to change that and  have ridden 7 of the last 9 days, at first to test out the Schwinn Passage and then to try and start building some fitness.  My Velo brother the Trailer Park Cyclist, threw down the gauntlet and challenged me to ride 24 miles.  My cyclo-computer is set to Kilometers, a cheap fiction to make me feel like I am going faster and longer, so I've modified the challenge to 24 kilometers.  That's 15 miles for those keeping score at home, I felt that was plenty challenging considering I hadn't ridden that far since the fall of 2013 and my longest ride this week had been 10 Km (6.25 miles) so 15 miles/24 Km was going to be more than double my longest ride thus far.
beginning odometer 72.95 km
A secondary gauntlet, to the distance, was riding on the Alki bike path most of the way, I like the idea of bike paths but I don't usually like riding on them, this one has bikes; tourists, joggers, kids on razor scooters, people walking dogs on extendo-leashes and it goes through some heavily travelled areas where folks step into the path without looking -all the time.  Usually I would take my chances with the cars on the road but I am so slow it doesn't really matter right now, and the views are pretty nice.

Seattle skyline looking across Elliot bay
A bit of a headwind on the first part of the journey but not too bad.  I saw uni-cycles, lots of two wheelers, some bikes with trailers and some 3 and 4 wheelers a local vendor rents out to the tourists during the summer.
Looking toward Vashon Island
When I ran out of bike path  I was riding for a distance on the road for the first time in a while, miles as a opposed to the few blocks I do on Sundays. 
Hanging on the sailboat not a bad way to pass Labor day
About 2/3rds of the way into the ride it was time to stop along the Alki strip....

and deploy anti-bonking protocols.

It was nice to take a bit of breather and rest the "sit bones" for while and then it was back on the bike.

Obligatory Space Needle shot.

I was getting tired but fortunately the headwind on the way out was a bit of a tailwind on the way back so that helped.  I was waiting for someone to blow by me and tell me how slow I was and I had a witty retort all ready to go:  I'm not slow..I'm Glacial.  Unfortunately no one obliged.

folks getting their exercise on the water

As I headed into the home stretch I could see on my bike computer that I was going to be a hair short of my goal of 24 km so I added a little extra loop to hit the mark.
ending odometer 96.99 km
Not exactly epic, no one cried,  but at the finish my legs were heavy, I had tightness between my shoulder blades and an overall feeling of fatigue, I should sleep well tonight.  So Tim Joe I will not set a distance challenge for you - just ride your bike and write on your blog about it.

post ride suds
I rode, I smiled and I am trying to repeat.


  1. There is no shame in riding metrics! I used to ride metric centuries all the time and forget to mention I was riding Euro not U.S.

    Now I owe ya one. I want one of those Cateyes, too.

    BTW, that handsome devil sure is a Handsome Devil.


    1. Thanks Tim Joe, I really like the Cateye not to fancy but does a good job of providing the basics. I too often take the Handsome Devil for granted as I lust over lugged bikes but the HD comes through for me daily and did a great job on this ride. I look forward to your post.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Joe I am trying to ride more while the weather and light hold before winter really sets in.

  3. Score!! The ride post is my favorite kind with pictures to boot!! What a cool ride your handsome devil is. You have held up your side, now a ride post starting out from the trailer park, I look forward to enjoy.
    Let's see....some bike time, a good looking breakfast sandwich, and a nice looking beer to finish it up. Pretty good way to spend a day.
    Hey, miles or KM's....does it really matter??? You were on your bike, looking at stuff, enjoying a tasty beer....what's not to like??
    Ride on my Northwest friend.

    1. Thanks Jim -it was a fun day on the bike. Hope to get out on one of those multi day tours some day. Hoping to see a post on the TPC soon too.

  4. Oh, it's coming, lads. It's coming. Anybody know how that strava thing works?

    1. Sorry man I had a mapmyride account I haven't used since 2011 so I am no help on the Strava deal. Looking forward to your post on the TPC.

    2. I do not know how the strava thing works. I have a map-my-ride account but I use it to map out my touring routes. I don't put in individual rides like they do on strava.

    3. You need one those Apple Genius Bar guys Tim Joe